Ever-rising bluegrass star Billy Strings has released his third full-length album, Renewal, via Rounder Records. Renewal marks the follow-up to 2019’s Home, which netted Billy his first-ever Grammy Award for “Best Bluegrass Album”. The album arrives alongside a psychedelic new music video for “Heartbeat of America”.
Co-Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Conor Oberst, Roger Waters, Father John Misty) and Billy Strings and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, Renewal solidifies Strings’ position as a singular artist—one who honors the history of the music that inspires him while continually finding new was to push it forward.
On Renewal‘s sixteen tracks, Billy Strings shares a starkly personal and honest songwriting perspective, taking stock amid a trying time and matching his complex emotions to his equally intricate web of sonic influences, from bluegrass to classic rock, metal to psychedelic, and more.
In addition to Strings (vocals, guitar, mandolin, piano, synth, guitjo) and Wilson (celesta, percussion, harpsicord), the record features Strings’ eponymous band—Billy Failing (banjo, piano, background vocals), Royal Masat (bass, background vocals) and Jarrod Walker (mandolin, guitar, background vocals)—as well as special guest musicians Spencer Cullum (pedal steel), John Mailander (violin) and Grant Millikem (synth).
As Billy Strings said of Renewal when it was announced, “I listen to this album now and it’s emotional. I could sit there and tweak it forever, but there’s a point where it’s like building a house of cards. Yeah, I could add an extra tower on top, but it might collapse. I’ve always doubted myself, and I still do, but this album makes me think, ‘Hey, you’re doing all right, kid. You just need to keep going.’”
Stream Renewal on the platform of your choice here or listen to the full album below via Spotify.
Billy Strings – Renewal – Full Album
Along with the release of Renewal, Billy Strings has shared a new music video for “Heartbreak of America” one of the complex tracks on the new album. With a fish-eye lens trained on the young picker, we see him eat a couple of tabs and set out on a walk around Nashville. As with any psychedelic experience, however, “Heartbeat of America” eventually comes to a point where things… change.
After beginning with a moody yet upbeat instrumental segment, the tone shifts on a dime. Distortion and rock power chords begin to supplement the bluegrass picking patterns as colorful, dripping visuals filters drape over our view. It’s only at this point—more than three minutes into the track—that Billy begins to sing, waxing philosophical on the past year’s isolation through the lens of his heightened consciousness.
Watch the official video for “Heartbeat of America” by Billy Strings below.
Billy Strings – “Heartbeat of America” (Official Music Video)
[Video: Billy Strings]
While he has certainly attained great success with his recorded work, Billy Strings is an artist best known for his thrilling live performances. Billy and company have maintained their road warrior ways throughout this year with a massive run of nationwide tour dates.
This weekend, Billy Strings will celebrate the release of Renewal with a two-night celebration in Buena Vista, CO featuring Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass) Lindsay Lou, and more. Tune in for a full livestream of the two-day event via FANS. For stream info, head here.
Billy Strings tour will continue from there with shows in Kansas (9/28) and Oklahoma City (9/29) before the band heads to Memphis, TN for a slot at Mempho Music Fest (10/2). Click below for a full list of upcoming tour dates. For ticketing information and more details, head here.
Billy Strings Confirmed 2021 Tour Dates
September 24—Buena Vista, CO—The Meadows (SOLD OUT)
September 25—Buena Vista, CO—The Meadows (SOLD OUT)
September 28—Wichita, KS—Wave
September 29—Oklahoma City, OK—The Jones Assembly (SOLD OUT)
October 1—Memphis, TN—Mempho Music Fest
October 2—Bentonville, AR—Freshgrass Festival
October 14—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 15—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 16—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 17—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 29—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
October 30—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
October 31—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
November 3—Milwaukee, WI—The Riverside Theater (SOLD OUT)
November 4—Minneapolis, MN—The Palace Theatre (SOLD OUT)
November 5—Minneapolis, MN—The Palace Theatre (SOLD OUT)
November 6—Chicago, IL—Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
November 10—Philadelphia, PA—The Fillmore
November 11—Philadelphia, PA—The Fillmore
November 12—Richmond, VA—Virginia Credit Union Live (SOLD OUT)
November 13—Washington, DC—The Anthem (SOLD OUT)
November 15—Portland, ME—State Theatre (SOLD OUT)
November 16—Portland, ME—State Theatre (SOLD OUT)
November 17—Boston, MA—Boch Center Wang Theatre
November 19—Wilkes-Barre, PA—Mohegan Sun Arena
November 20—Detroit, MI—The Fillmore (SOLD OUT)
November 21—Detroit, MI—The Fillmore
November 30—New Orleans, LA—The Civic Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 1—New Orleans, LA—The Civic Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 2—Houston, TX—White Oak Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
December 3—Austin, TX—ACL Live at The Moody Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 4—Dallas, TX—The Factory in Deep Ellum
December 9—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern
December 10—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern (SOLD OUT)
December 11—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern (SOLD OUT)
December 12—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern
December 17—Nashville, TN—Marathon Music Works (SOLD OUT)
December 18—Nashville, TN—Marathon Music Works (SOLD OUT)
December 30—Grand Rapids, MI—GLC Live at 20 Monroe
December 31—Grand Rapids, MI—GLC Live at 20 Monroe (SOLD OUT)
January 1, 2022—Grand Rapids, MI—GLC Live at 20 Monroe